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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
When Scared Stiff was originally published in 1987, Ramsey Campbell's collection of short stories brought the subgenre of erotic horror to the masses. As dark and sensual as it is controversial, this reissue includes three new stories never before published in book form, an insightful introduction by Clive Barker, and a surprisingly candid afterword by the author. Barker describes the stories in this collection fittingly: "One of the delightfully unsettling things about these tales is the way Ramsey's brooding, utterly unique vision renders an act familiar to us all so fretful, so strange, so chilling."
Noteworthy stories include "Stages," about an artist named Ray who, after experimenting with some homemade LSD, realizes he can participate in strangers' sexual experiences -- with terrifying results. "Dolls" chronicles a hedonistic coven in Colonial America whose leader uses carved figures to strike down the group's enemies. A book-cover artist becomes obsessed with painting covers of a beautiful woman being strangled in "The Other Woman." And in "Kill Me Hideously," a fanatical fan stalks horror writer Willy Bantam at book signings and demands to be included in one of his novels as the female victim.
Fans of authors like Tanith Lee, Laurell K. Hamilton, Poppy Z. Brite, and A. N. Roquelaure (a.k.a. Anne Rice) who have yet to discover Ramsey Campbell should make it a point to pick up this steamy, contentious collection. Cold shower not included. Paul Goat Allen